Physics and Astronomy

This area deals with the fundamental laws and building blocks of nature and how they interact, the properties and the behavior of matter, and research into space and time and their structures.

innovations-report provides in-depth reports and articles on subjects such as astrophysics, laser technologies, nuclear, quantum, particle and solid-state physics, nanotechnologies, planetary research and findings (Mars, Venus) and developments related to the Hubble Telescope.

Wireless Network Boosts Supernova Search to Stellar First Year

In results presented this week at the 2003 meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Seattle, astrophysicist Greg Aldering and colleagues report that their supernova factory project has discovered an unprecedented 34 new supernovae in its first year. The accomplishment would not have been possible without the National Science Foundation (NSF) – supported high performance wireless network link to Palomar Observatory. “This has been the best rookie year for any supernova search pro

Astronomers poised to apply novel way to look for comets beyond Neptune

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory astronomers are major partners in a scientific collaboration that will conduct an extremely novel search for small, comet-like bodies in the outer solar system using four half-meter telescopes. The work was described today at the winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
Rather than look for the light reflected directly by these objects (as is customary astronomy practice), this project will search for those very rare moments when one of these ob

Coronal activity may be ’buried alive’ in red giant stars, say Colorado researchers

When Earth’s sun expands into a red giant star in roughly five billion years, long after Earth has become uninhabitable, the hydrogen core will be burned out and the bloated outer shell will be cool and murky.

But according to new research by the University of Colorado at Boulder, such red giants still retain surface magnetic storms and coronas — the very hot and patchy outer atmosphere of the sun and sun-like stars — at temperatures of millions of degrees Fahrenheit that often signal

Missing link found between old and young star clusters

One and a half billion years ago the small, inconspicuous galaxy Messier 82 (M82) almost smashed into its large, massive neighbour galaxy Messier 81 (M81), causing a frenzy of star formation.

New research by astronomers from the Universities of Cambridge and Utrecht, Netherlands, has now discovered an elusive phenomenon in this violent “starburst” area. About 100 star clusters have been discovered that are believed to be the ancestors of the so-called “globular clusters” thought to be the ol

Rosetta – a comet ride to solve planetary mysteries

ESA’s Rosetta will be the first mission to orbit and land on a comet, one of the icy bodies that travel throughout the Solar System and develop a characteristic tail when they approach the Sun. Rosetta is scheduled to be launched on-board an Ariane-5 rocket in January 2003 from Kourou, French Guiana. A decision on the launch date will be taken by Tuesday 14 January (see Arianespace press release N° 03/02 of 7 January 2003 or at http:www.arianespace.com).

The mission’s target is Comet Wi

Vast ring of stars found around Milky Way galaxy

A vast, but previously unknown structure has been discovered around our own Milky Way galaxy by an international team of astronomers. The announcement is being made at the American Astronomical Society’s meeting in Seattle, Washington, on behalf of Drs Annette Ferguson, Rodrigo Ibata, Mike Irwin, Geraint Lewis and Nial Tanvir. Their observations suggest that there is a giant ring of several hundred million stars surrounding the main disk of the Milky Way. Despite its size, the ring has not been

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